Responsible gambling at the heart of new Ladbrokes & SPFL deal
UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has announced a new sponsorship deal with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), with both organisations vowing that promoting responsible gambling will be at the core of the deal.
Ladbrokes has sponsored the four divisions of the SPFL since 2015 and this deal will see the bookmaker remain the sponsor and extend the relationship for another two years until at least 2020, with the deal amounting to around £5m over the next two years.
Both groups have promised that promoting responsible gambling will be a key goal of the relationship. Quite what new initiatives will be implemented is not yet clear.
Football in Scotland has been criticised for an over-reliance on gambling firms when it comes to sponsorship. Despite this, the SPFL are pleased with retaining Ladbrokes as their chief sponsor.
Speaking about the deal, Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said:
We have enjoyed a superb partnership since they first came on board in 2015 and are confident that will continue and flourish until 2020 and hopefully beyond… We are also aware of our social responsibilities as a senior professional league in Scotland and will continue to promote a message of responsible gambling in conjunction with Ladbrokes.– Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive
Scottish football particularly has come under fire regularly for what has often been described as a culture of gambling ingrained within players, managers, and wider staff.
To their credit, Ladbrokes has tried to play a leading role in tackling problem gambling in the sport. Initiatives such as utilising responsible gambling advertising and linking executive pay to responsible gambling targets have been implemented by the bookmaker.
Ladbrokes Coral chief executive Jim Mullen said:
We knew when we started the sponsorship that we were associating with a sport that is followed with passion and dedication and it has proved to be an excellent partnership… We also want to make sure that it reflects that gambling should be fun, not a problem, and that is why our continued sponsorship will enable us to promote responsible gambling and work with clubs to ensure that the integrity of the sport is upheld… We take our role as a sponsor seriously and we take our role to help customers keep gambling fun just as seriously.– Jim Mullen, Ladbrokes Coral chief executive